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    Examining the Utility of the Function Acquisition Speed Test (FAST) for Assessing Social Biases

    Wall, Matthew (2021) Examining the Utility of the Function Acquisition Speed Test (FAST) for Assessing Social Biases. Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    The current research was focused on assessing the utility of a new behaviour-analytic implicit Function Acquisition Speed Test (FAST), for the proxy measurement of real-world social attitudes. In Experiment 1, the FAST was administered to a sample of men and women to assess the strength of verbal relations (attitudes) regarding gender biases. An explicit measure of attitudes towards gender was also administered as part of a strategy to establish preliminary convergent validity for the FAST. In the domain of gender attitudes, the FAST scores for gender bias converged with those of the explicit measure. However, while male participants self-reported a greater level of gender bias than the females, the cohort as a whole was not found to be gender-biased using the implicit measure, nor were the females when considered alone. This finding was interpreted in terms of System Justification Theory (SJT) as part of a conceptual bridge building exercise between behaviour analysis and mainstream social psychology. The predictions of this theory were also employed to rationalise the need for Experiment 2. Experiment 2 was a replication of Experiment 1 within the context of racial bias amongst a sample of White and Non-White adult participants. The results showed that the cohort as a whole showed a significant implicit pro-White bias, in line with the predictions of SJT, as did the Non-White cohort when considered alone. This provided the FAST with a degree of predictive validity against conceptual frameworks within the literature. In addition, divergent validity was established through the expected lack of correlation between self-reports of racial bias and FAST scores. It was concluded that the FAST may represent an acceptable behaviour-analytic alternative to social cognitive implicit test methods and may be useful in sensitive research contexts in which self-reports are likely to be unreliable.

    Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
    Keywords: Function Acquisition Speed Test; FAST; Assessing Social Biases;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Psychology
    Item ID: 16799
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 03 Jan 2023 14:55
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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